Friday, August 29, 2008

8/29 Expressions

Today was a short day at work. Right afterward, I drove to a freecycler's yard and dug up varigated lirope and lilies. I loaded up the car with a shovel, gloves, and 2 plastic tubs for my haul before leaving for work this a.m. I got free exercise to boot. Of course I did not feel like cooking. So, on the way home, I did a quick Kroger shop for the entire week. I found a refund form for $10 back when you buy at least $30 in various grocery items. I found another one for $25 off $100 worth of groceries. Both of these were from beer companies. No beer purchase required in my state. Dinner tonight was cheese stuffed crust pizza by Digiorno - it was delicious and on sale for $4.99. I also baked Banquet skinless chicken - tasty (and plenty of leftovers for another meal) and marked down slices of watermelon. Okay, I didn't make a salad or veggies - but I think we will survive. I already have my rebate form/receipts in the mail.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

8/27 Expressions

Freecycle: I responded to another ad and will be digging up varigated lirope and lilies this week.

Mail: Yesterday, I got a $10 Home Depot giftcard from a Publix "deal". May get some yard/garden items in my quest to spruce up the yard a bit.

Bonding Time: A local spa is hosting make-up sessions with free make-up. There is a reservation charge of $25. However, the $25 is credited toward any additional make-up purchase. So, I made an appointment for my daughter and I. Of course, we will be making additional make-up purchases to use up the reservation charge. I am not normally a big make-up spender. Most of make-up is purchased free after rebate or on sale with a coupon. So, this is a splurge that we shall enjoy together.

Rental Management: The owner of the rental management company for a couple of rental properties we own in town passed away in March. Her son has decided he no longer wants to run the company and is selling. So, we will be switching companies this Friday. We called around and wow - some charge hefty fees just to be in their rental program - a "set-up" fee to the tune of $350 for each property. I don't think so.

Condo pay-down: We will be making another nice principle pay down this week. We are still hoping to pay the property off by next fall. Also, since the next inspection is coming up - I am thinking the lamps in the bedroom are not proportional. I see the local "Old Time Pottery" is having a nice sale on large lamps. Under $30 a piece for regular retail of $8X dollar lamps. I will see if they are suitable for our purposes too. A little bit of pre-planning and help to save quite a bit.

Monday, August 25, 2008

8/25 Expressions

Money in the Mail: Today was a money day in the mailbox for me. We received 2 rebate checks and 1 mystery shopping check. Recycled money :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

8/24 Expressions

Bargains: To be in the rental program, our condo gets an annual inspection, which should be coming up soon. Let's just say the patio furniture we inherited with the unit made it through last year, but I seriously doubt it will make it through this year's inspection. Also, it is very hard to find patio furniture in December when we plan to make any adjustments to the decor or repairs. So, today, I went through Mypoints to Overstock (10 points per dollar spent) and found just what I was looking for. Next, I googled Overstock Coupons and found a 10 percent off code. Went back to Overstock and bought a nice metal and glass patio table, only 4 left, 6 metal/cushioned chairs, and a metal chaise lounger. I am sure the retail prices were inflated, but if they were true, I would have paid $1,375, plus some hefty shipping charges to spiff up the balcony of our rental condo. With coupon and including the $2.95 shipping to the location, I paid just under $350. Plus, I will be getting close to 3,500 Mypoints, enough for a $25 giftcard and I used my Chase Freedom Card for an additional 1% back in cash to help me get to a rebate of $200, which can be redeemed for a bonus of $250. And of course, since this is a business expense, there will be a deduction involved also.

Rebate Forms: Beer companies are sure generous. A lady at work gave me a form, that is good in limited states for a $20 rebate when you purchase $40 worth of groceries. No beer purchase required. I shopped at Kroger yesterday, using only a few coupons, mainly for a free can of dog food and a few free SOBE drinks. I got all of my veggies, fruits, meat, etc. After coupons, $65, after rebate, $45. Not bad at all as if you keep your eyes peeled at Kroger, there are "close-out" sale prices and "manager specials" that help stretch a buck. My husband also loves those bottled coffee drinks. I found Kroger brand "close-outs" for $2.49 for 4 bottles. So, he got several 4 packs in this shopping trip.

Travel: Fall break is coming up for my daughter. We haven't traveled as much as we used to. So, here is what is brewing: Since my husband and I signed up for the American Airlines card and now we are thinking of slipping our Hawaii trip to next fall break, we can probably redeemed miles for a domestic flight each. My husband will probably have to go to Miami during that week for business - how sad. So, why not turn it in to a fall break vacation? My daughter and I can fly down on "free" tickets, stay 1 night with DH while he conducts business and we can redeem some hotel points for the additional nights we will be there. We think we will probably stay around South Beach. Just getting our thoughts together to try and get this planned. Hopefully, all the stars will align, and it will happen.

Consignment: I called the consignment store's hot line last night and they are only accepting 10 items per customer. So, I have my 10 items ready to taken in next week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

8/23 Expressions

Recycling: I noticed we have 6 empty printer cartridges sitting around. One of my daughter's teachers is asking for donations of color copying paper. Today, we will make a stop at Staples and see what we can do to accommodate that request. She also asked for other supplies. Looking through my stash of office supplies purchased in the last couple of years during sales, I found quite a bit to donate. This contributes to my effort to declutter also.

Fast Cash?: I read on several blogs about ways to make fast cash. The one that pops up occasionally is donating blood plasma. Sure enough, we have a donation center in the area. I called to get some information. I don't know if they all operate this way, or if the current economic situation has anything to do with it, but the person answering the phone said they don't take appointments. She said, "you need to come early because it is first come, first serve" and she said if you don't get in on the first round, you can come back at noon when they open for the next group. Then she said, the first appointment takes 4 hours because you have to go through a physical before you donate. I guess that is a good thing. Then she said, they can't use your plasma unless you donate at least twice a week. She also said the maximum number of times you can donate is three. She said, that is why "we pay you $25 for the first donation and $45 for the second donation". Apparently the whole process takes at least 1.5 hours. How did I find this place? I googled "Plasma Donation Center".

American Airlines Credit Card: It is always great when a business beats your expectations! I just got my first bill for using the credit card. I was told/read that it takes 6-10 weeks after charging $750 for the 25,000 mile bonus to post. Can you believe it, the miles have already posted. Now we just need the few miles for my daughter's account to post. We purchased through an American Airlines Advantage partners link to purchase a winter jacket for her. The jacket got here yesterday, and I am hoping her miles post just as quickly. It will make planning a little less hectic with more time on our side. Funny thing is, my husband and I were thinking of splurging and flying first class by using our miles for the upgrade. If we did that, our daughter has enough miles. But she is the one insisting that it isn't worth the extra money and we might as well fly coach for free. Mind you, my husband and I are frugal, but this trip coincides with the year of our 20th wedding anniversary. So, we shall "see".

Friday, August 22, 2008

8/22 Expressions

Today is another day I am grateful to have health insurance. My daughter had a bump on the bottom of her foot. I thought she stepped on glass or something. She said she didn't remember stepping on anything. Turns out it is a Planter's Wart and will be "burned" off. It will be interesting to see what that "would" have cost. Today in the mail, I finally got the 1/2 price gift certificates to 2 local restaurants that I got from a local radio station's website. Also got a rebate check from Rite Aid. I may get another load to go to the consignment store for next week. It is nice to declutter and I can always add that $ to the condo principle fund. We get paid next week. So, I will make another "principle only" payment on the condo. Want that paid off before both or either of us "retire" next year. My local Publix must not be getting much business. Last weekend was probably be my last trip there. The assistant manager checked my groceries out. He grilled me on just about every coupon I handed him - looking for reasons he didn't have to take them. Good thing I pointed out the information on the coupons to him and he begrudingly took them. The only coupon he refused to take was a competitor's coupon. He said he could refuse to take them at his discretion. Little does he know, I shop at Publix at my discretion and will be shopping at Kroger from now on. I will say, he could probably tell I was a bit disappointed with him, and to make light of things in the end, he did say I was a "smart shopper". Since I didn't have anything nice to say, I didn't say anything at all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

8/21 Expressions

Nothing particularly frugal or financial has happened this week. But, I did sign my daughter and I to attend a make-up class at a local salon on Saturday. Should be a fun girly time. The weather is hot, hot, hot - and tiring.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

8/14 Expressions

Groceries: I like to use coupons when I can. But, I must say, even without allowing the use of coupons, Aldi is a great place to shop for items that rarely have coupons. I went to the dentist today to get my teeth cleaned. Aldi is just down the street. Today's 99 cent specials: melons, blueberries, mushrooms, broccoli crowns. Cheaper than my "regular" grocery store: spinach and romaine lettuce. One gallon of milk was the "loss" leader - $1.99 a gallon. I also thought the "Large" dozen of eggs at $1.09 was decent too. I rarely can find my daughter's favorite - "coconut shrimp" - but they had them today - 10 shrimp for $2.99 a box. I also picked up smoked bratwurst $1.99, ground turkey .99 and a few other miscellaneous items. I escaped for just under $25. This weekend, I will just round out my groceries - probably at Publix with lots of coupons.

Entertainment: Things to do this weekend. A local museum is having a picnic with entertainment on Saturday - totally free with membership. The local botanical garden is having a freebie event for members too. Our community is sponsoring a meet-and-greet of a mayoral candidate tomorrow. Lots of things to do this weekend!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

8/12 Expressions

Financials: Yup, the company that wanted me to pay $2.XX per share and $25 to claim my new Starwood stock was out to get $. Had I paid a bit better attention, I would have turned in my certificate in 2006. Turns out, I can still turn in my certificate, get a re-issued stock certificate, shares of Marriott, and a check for a few bucks for free. The moral of the story, pay attention and check "fishy" offers out. I did pick-up a check at the consignment store and dropped 13 more items off.

Monday, August 11, 2008

8/11 Expressions

Mailbag: Today was an interesting mail day. I received mail from a company I have never heard of telling me I was suppose to redeem my Starwood Shares for Marriott shares in 2006 - and, they'd do it for $2.XX per share - otherwise I will be going thru paperwork he** to claim it at a later date? Sounds fishy to me. So, I will be calling Starwood tomorrow. I received some nice rental checks which will go toward the condo mortgage asap.

Bargains: Today, at lunch, I took my ecbs and a $2/2 Bath Buddies coupon to CVS. I got 3 packs of 9 double rolls of Charmin TP and 2 Bath Buddies soap bars and paid just over $3. Hopefully, that TP will last us until the end of the year . . .

Decluttering: Since I will be making a trip to the bank to deposit the rent checks, I put together 13 items to take to the consignment store. I am also hoping to add a consignment check to my additional principal payment. I am also taking $10.50 worth of rolled coins - every bit helps! Can you tell, we want that condo paid off as soon as possible so that we can be debt free again!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

8/10 Expressions

Shopping Spree: I bought $70+ worth of groceries at Publix today for $8.XX. I will be mailing in the receipt for a $10 JCP gift card. I also went to Rite Aid and got the hair color touch up product for free after rebate. At Wal-mart, I got 4 free bath buddies with internet coupons, and 2 Clean Team wipes for pennies after a $3/2 coupon. I also picked up 2 more "All You" magazines with the great coupons in them. There is a $1 off peanut butter - that is BOGO at Publix - making each jar just pennies - I believe Peter Pan brand. Also, there are a bunch of buy 3 Kraft products and get an item free coupons in the magazine. Pays for itself many times over. I stopped at Kroger to fill my car up with a Kroger gift card and picked up a free 12 pack of Pepsi and a free Sobe (internet coupon) - oh and a free can of Mighty Dog - coupon in today's paper.

Garden: Our cute pumpkin - not very big, had to be picked. The vine was pretty much lifeless and the pumpkin is orange. I put it in the fridge hoping to save it for Halloween. I also planted the freecycled plants we got yesterday. (Monkey grass, Crepe Mertle, and wild lillies.

Friday, August 8, 2008

8/8 Expressions

I read that today is a lucky day because it is 8/8/08. Sure seems so for the stock market - now about 10 more lucky days in a row would be nice :)

Mail: I received some free magazines in the mail - Smart Money, etc. Also, Kroger sent some nice coupons, free 12 pack of Pepsi, $1 off fresh fruit, $1 off produce, etc.

Free plants: Tomorrow, I will be digging plants out of a freecycler's yard. Sounds like a nice variety.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

8/7 Expressions

Cutting costs to dining out with coupons!: Today is my daughter's birthday :) She is a wonderful child - if I do say so myself :) Now with that said, we have received a coupon in the mail from a local restaurant with a birthday club for a free meal. I signed her up for Red Robin - and she will eat a free meal there tomorrow. Maggie Moos e-mail club sent us a b1g1 coupon for a scoop of ice cream. I also signed us all up for Captain D's Club and we each got a free fish & fries or Free chicken & free coupon - but my daughter also received a free dinner coupon for her birthday! Do a search for birthday freebies and perhaps you'll receive some welcomed coupons too!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

8/4 Expressions

Entertainment: I was looking at our local museum website today and noticed that they had free membership events posted. Next Saturday, a picnic with food, fun, and games. Our membership expired a couple of months ago, but this picnic is also a membership drive. So, this is where we will be heading for lunch. In the afternoon, our local botanical garden is having a fun festival too. Our membership there expired, so, we will be renewing both. Both have nice events during the year, and we enjoy visiting and they have reciprocity with other museums/botanical gardens - so, a bargain for us. I mentioned earlier that I am a BUZZ AGENT - I signed up for the ZAPPIT Game System - specifically designed for family entertainment. We have been anxiously awaiting the system and it arrived today :) The company included an additional game in the packet, so, we got a total of 7 family friendly games. Nice discount coupons to pass out too. What a nice company!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

8/3 Expressions

Shopping Spree: I love shopping sprees where I get a lot for a little money :) I mentioned I was going to Publix with a fist full of coupons - and I did! My first order, I got just over $70 worth of items for $15.74 (triple points on my cash back credit card too) and I will be sending the receipt in for a $10 JC Penney Gift Card - thanks to Kraft! My second order - items all pictured together was for a bottle of Pert Plus Shampoo and Sure Deoderant - I spent $2.81 and saved $3.70 using coupons - advantage buy. Why did I buy those 2 items. Because I had coupons, they were on sale, and there was a form in today's paper - buy $5 worth of Pert and Sure - send in the receipt, plus a receipt for school supplies and get $5 back! Yup, I have a receipt for school supplies from yesterday :) The one cent item at Publix was the re-usable shopping bag - which they used. And I believe the Fast Fixin products have a buy 10 items get 1 free offer (receive a coupon in the mail) and I think I have my 10 proofs of purchase now too.

After that shopping spree, my daughter and I decided to take advantage of the last day of the "tax free" sale. We went to Rite Aid and got a few more school supplies and toiletries. I will be uploading that receipt to get a rebate back on most of that stuff and I used a fist full of coupons there too. I will have spent approximately $10 out of pocket after rebate - total spent after coupons, but before rebate is $54.56. So, quite a savings with coupons and rebate. Then we went to CVS, we had a ball :) I had $25 in extra-care bucks from a previous visit, a $10 off $50 coupon and a bunch of manufacturer coupons. So, we got a few more like to have school supplies, toiletries, and snacks. Before coupons, the total was close to $55. After coupons, $9.44. But the great part, $13.49 in extra-care bucks and a coupon for a free box of CVS brand cotton swabs, 50 ct spit out of the register. And a coupon that says, if I update my e-mail address, they will e-mail be a coupon for $5/$20. We left CVS and noticed a billboard that said the temperature was 103 degrees - and it felt like it. We pulled through the drive-thru of Burger King, and my daughter got a free icee with coupon, and I paid for an Iced Mocha - $2.XX. Next, we went to Kohl's. We each had a $5 coupon for registering our e-mail addresses. For around $9, she got a pair of whimsical tennis shoes, originally $29.99 and locker decorating kit, originally $16.99 on clearance, with the coupons. Our last stop was Rack Room Shoes, there was a $10 off $60 coupon in the paper and they were running a buy 1 get 1 50% off sale. So, she got a nice pair of tennis shoes, and I got a nice pair of walking shoes for about the sales price of her tennis shoes. We had a few more coupons and were planning to shop at a few more stores - but the heat got to us, and the crowd, and we headed home :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

8/2 Expressions

Frugal Activities: Today, I finally stitched the slippers I knitted on your summer trip together. Even though it is warm outside, I like to wear slippers indoors. So, now, I have comfy slippers on. I noticed I still had a ziploc bag of pureed pumpkin (from Halloween last year) in the freezer and I found a pumpkin bread/cream cheese spread recipe on-line. I baked the bread and it was a hit with the family. Also, I had all of the ingredients, so, it helped clean out the fridge/freezer a bit. My husband and daughter made 1 shopping trip today. This is tax-free weekend here and I found a 12% off coupon for Staples. So, my daughter has all of her school supplies. On their way home, they stopped at the library and checked-out a few DVDs. We watched one this afternoon. Tonight we played a board game in our "new" game room. I clipped coupons and checked the web for Publix deals. I am armed and ready for tomorrow :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

8/1 Expressions

Wow - July just flew by.

Recycling: My husband proudly told me that he received $19 for his soda cans and he thinks the quantity was less than the last time - so, the price per lb must have gone up. Then they picked up the freecycled table - it is very nice. Also, during a break today, I made a few more "yo-yos" - still a ways to go before I can make a "quilt" or coverlet.

Entertainment: We will be going out to dinner tonight - and it won't be frugal. But afterwards, we are attending a free event at a local bookstore. It is advertised that they will have entertainment, prizes, and generally fun things to do tonight.

Groceries: My husband and daughter spent $27 at Aldi. They came home with some nice produce and the basics. I will round out the groceries on Sunday with a fistful of coupons.

Mail: My husband received some free golf balls in the mail. Those will probably end up at the consignment store. A rebate check came. Sunsilk samples and coupons too.